Showing posts from July 7, 2019

Creating Welcoming Space

"Hospitality means creating welcoming space for the other. Henri J. Nouwen notes that the Dutch word for hospitality, gastvrijheid, means 'the freedom of the guest.' It entails creating not just physical room but emotional spaciousness where the stranger can enter and be himself or herself, where the stranger can become ally instead of threat, friend instead of enemy." In a time when it is more crucial than ever for humanity to revisit its relationship to strangers, this passage from Sr. Marilyn Lacey shines like a beacon.

How to Talk with Kids about Gratitude

Parents can have conversations with kids to help them experience all four parts of gratitude.

By Susan Harris, Maryam Abdullah, Kelly Whalen

Shekinah Elmore: From Hospital Gown to White Coat

"Shekinah Elmore was not yet a physician when she gave her own second opinion. After a year of cancer treatment -- including lung surgery, chemotherapy, and a double mastectomy --she was hell-bent on starting medical school. Her doctors tried to dissuade her, recommending that she take more time to recover from her third stint with cancer. But two weeks after finishing the therapies that left her bald and unable to walk without getting winded, Elmore took an oath to do no harm." Read more about her inspiring journey as patient and provider here.

How Happy Are People at Work?

Results from the newest Greater Good quiz reveal where there's room for improvement in happiness at work.

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Kira M. Newman

Most of us would like to be happier at work—to be able to say that the hours and effort that we dedicate to it truly contribute to how happy we are in life.

How do we get there? Like happiness overall, happiness at work does not mean trying to be cheerful and enthusiastic all the time. According to research, workplace happiness is much deeper. In the Greater Good Science Center’s series of courses on the Science of Happiness at Work, we offer an organizing framework—called PERK—that distills happiness at work into key constructs that can be strengthened:

Purpose: Feeling that your work aligns with core values and meaningfully contributes to something beyond yourself.Engagement: Feeling curious, interested, and inspired; experiencing flow; and being dedicated to making progress at work. Resilience: Being able to handle setbacks and diff…

Unexpected Art in Unexpected Places

What happens when we look more closely, whether with the naked eye or equipment? Incredible details come into focus, bringing with them the possibility of beauty and interest we might never have conceived of. Imagine what would occur if you suddenly zoomed in on all those things you have lying around your house and studio or rusting outside. What new art might be inspired by such "stuff"? Mirka Knaster shares more in this piece.

Why Should You Go to Therapy?

Psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb explains what therapy does for you and what it reveals about the trials of being human.

By Jill Suttie

If you’ve never been to a therapist, you might wonder what people get out of talking once a week to a near stranger about their struggles in life.

Plenty, it turns out.

Therapists guide people through some of the most personal and painful experiences of their lives, helping them overcome depression, live with loss, and stop self-destructive behavior (among other issues). But, while the results of therapy are often impressive, the process can seem mysterious—even miraculous—when you don’t understand what’s happening in the room.

Enter Lori Gottlieb’s new book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Gottlieb, an experienced psychotherapist and author of The Atlantic’s weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column, gives readers front-row access to what goes on in therapy by following the narratives of four of her clients. We see how she approaches her interactions with them…

Uncomfortable Place of Uncertainty

"We weren't trained to admit we don't know. Most of us were taught to sound certain and confident, to state our opinion as if it were true. We haven't been rewarded for being confused. Or for asking more questions rather than giving quick answers. We've also spent many years listening to others mainly to determine whether we agree with them or not. We don't have time or interest to sit and listen to those who think differently than we do." Margaret Wheatley shares more in this excerpt.

Which of the Things You Love Make You Happiest?

Do you love running, parties, or chocolate? A new study suggests that the objects of your affection might matter for your well-being.

By Jill Suttie

When we think about the emotion of love, we usually think of people. We love our friends, our families, our neighbors, and our communities.

But what about other “loves” in our lives? For example, I love chocolate, hiking, and dining with friends. Does feeling that love for things and experiences make any difference to our well-being, just like our love of other people does?

According to a new study, it may—depending on what you love.

Researcher Hannah Lucas and her colleagues asked a large group of adults to list things they loved that were not people. Their answers fell into five distinct categories: material things (like money or mobile phones), things that brought hedonic pleasure (like a hot shower or laughing), physical exercise (like participating in sports), spiritual things (like faith in a higher power), and social connection activiti…

Equanimity, Mindfulness and Politics

While contemporary society praises the benefits of mindfulness in domains from schools to workplaces, open, non-judgmental awareness is far from a panacea for solving the world's most pressing dilemmas. Individuals and nations remain divided on the issues that define us. "Are we really creating individuals who can focus on improving their capacities for engagement and mediation while simultaneously pushing back against the wider socio-economic decline that surrounds them?" asks Joey Weber. In this article from Open Democracy, Weber suggests that what's missing from our economic and political frameworks is the cultivation of equanimity. With greater equanimity, he argues, mindfulness turns increasingly towards the needs of others. Read more to learn how approaching our differences with patience and non-reactivity can lead to more promising outcomes.

How a Simple Human Smile Saved His Life

In a creative sandbox for what would become Saint-Exuperys most famous line in The Little Prince-- 'What is essential is invisible to the eye.'-- he writes: "How does life construct those lines of force which make us alive?Real miracles make little noise! Essential events are so simple!" One such essential event in Saint-Exupery's life had to do with the mundane miracle of a simple smile, a gift he so poetically describes as, "a certain miracle of the sun, which had taken so much trouble, for so many million years, to achieve, through ourselves, that quality of a smile which was pure success."